An under-the-radar city getaway that's closer (and cooler) than you realize

Why Go Now: A hip, new, cultural- and design-savvy Detroit is emerging from what remains of Motor City. Some compare it to hipster Brooklyn because of the microbreweries, coffee shops, organic bakeries, guerilla farming, forward fashion boutiques, and funky cocktail spots popping up all over town. Art is a big draw these days, especially as talk continues about whether the world-class Detroit Institute of Arts will have to sell off important works to pay Detroit's creditors. If you're interested in more avant-garde work, check out the many new gallery spaces, or the Heidelberg Project, a blocks-long outdoor art project where the houses are the works of art. Beer aficionados tout the quality and diversity of Detroit area microbreweries, while foodies love Detroit for its innovative new restaurants, and for the feast of artisanal food and local procedure that takes place every Saturday morning at the Eastern Market.

Insider Tip: Detroit's renaissance means there are festivals and special events most of the year, so plan to get out with the locals. Friday Night Live! is the weekly celebration organized by the Detroit Institute of Art, with music, workshops, and food. Every third Thursday, venues all over town stay open late with openings, exhibits, and all sorts of programs. Also of note: JetBlue is set to introduce a new direct Boston-Detroit route in March 2014.

When to Go: Late spring, summer, and early fall are the most popular time to visit Detroit, when the weather's fine and you can rent a bike to tour the city. Winters tend to be cold and less hospitable, with sudden snowstorms.

Plan Your Trip: Start planning using Fodor's Detroit Travel Guide. –Caroline Trefler

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